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Howard Hughes and π

Yesterday, I managed only 721 words on "Galápagos." After getting the thoughts of those I'd sent the story off to, there were things I needed to talk through. The sorts of things I generally let work themselves out with no particular forethought. And afterwards, I wrote. It's starting to look as if this will be a longer story than I'd first expected, not 6,500 words, but nearer 10,000. Fortunately, I have until May 31st to finish it. Of course, during that time, I also have to get Sirenia Digest #42 out to subscribers, and I have to get some things done for my publicist at Penguin, regarding The Red Tree.

Ironically —— or so it seems to me —— one of the aspects of my sf that I'm most insecure about, and "Galápagos" is no exception, is the actual science. When writing sf, I spend at least half the time fact checking and rechecking and re-rechecking. Though, I should think, if I may be so bold, that if you put any random 100 authors of sf into a room together, and I were one of the bunch, and then evaluate our knowledge of the scientific enterprise, and our general scientific literacy, I'd surely fall into the top tenth percentile. Maybe that's why I'm so insecure about it. Fuck if I know.

Anyway, I'm going to step away from "Galápagos" for a couple of days. I have an interview to do this afternoon, and a number of other things I've been putting off. This evening, Spooky and I will be going to visiting a local writer acquaintance on the East Side for a communal signature-sheet signing gathering sort of thing (the pages are for Joshi's forthcoming Black Wings: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror, which includes my story, "Pickman's Other Model"). And tomorrow's going to be a day off, because I've not had one since May 8th.

My comp copies of the new Alabaster trade paperback arrived yesterday. I think the book looks great. And you can score a copy for a mere $14.95 (plus s&h).



Last night, I was too tired for much of anything, so after BBQ from United BBQ, we watched the first seven episodes of The X-Files (eps six and seven, "Shadow" and "Ghost in the Machine," are dull as hell, by the way). I didn't get to sleep until a little after three, but then —— fuck you, Monsieur Insomnia —— I slept a full eight hours. Booya! Thank you, Mulder and Scully.

Gods, a mere six days remaining until birthday -5. How bloody weird is that?

Postscript (3:06 p.m.): I only just the minute learned that Stephenie Meyer is a Mormon. Suddenly, it all makes so much more sense.

Comments

( 43 comments — Have your say! )
onemoreshadow
May. 20th, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC)
It's unfortunate that some sf fans base their enjoyment of a story on the idea that THIS COULD ACTUALLY HAPPEN! I imagine a great deal of the sf stories written in the last fifty or a hundred years would be considered obsolete under such scrutiny.

I guess the science is important, but I like to think it falls by the wayside if the plot demands it. I'm sure there's something to be said for staying within the realms of physics, but sometimes I wonder, where's the fun in that? :)
greygirlbeast
May. 20th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
It's unfortunate that some sf fans base their enjoyment of a story on the idea that THIS COULD ACTUALLY HAPPEN! I imagine a great deal of the sf stories written in the last fifty or a hundred years would be considered obsolete under such scrutiny.

Oh, I very much agree (and have said so repeatedly). Too many readers and writers of sf miss the point that it's science fiction. And given the nature of science, what is "true" today will likely not be "true" only a few years down the road. What seems feasible today, may be provisionally proven absurd next week. And vice versa. Story and characters always come first, and it ridiculous to think sf can actually provide any sort of predictive tool (or that it should try). All that said, I still fret over the science.

Edited at 2009-05-20 05:35 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - onemoreshadow - May. 20th, 2009 05:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - May. 20th, 2009 05:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onemoreshadow - May. 20th, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - May. 20th, 2009 06:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
laudre
May. 20th, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC)
It is one of the paradoxes of education that the more learned one becomes, the more one learns of one's own ignorance.

It's been my experience, anyway.
greygirlbeast
May. 20th, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
It is one of the paradoxes of education that the more learned one becomes, the more one learns of one's own ignorance.

Indeed, it is a hallmark of science. Very few scientists do not understand that the more we learn, the more we see we have to learn.

Edited at 2009-05-20 05:56 pm (UTC)
sovay
May. 20th, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC)
and then evaluate our knowledge of the scientific enterprise, and our general scientific literacy, I'd surely fall into the top tenth percentile. Maybe that's why I'm so insecure about it. Fuck if I know.

No, I think that's par for the course. You have to be intelligent to realize the vast array of all the things you don't know. Hey, irony! How're the wife and kids?
greygirlbeast
May. 20th, 2009 05:58 pm (UTC)

You have to be intelligent to realize the vast array of all the things you don't know.

See my comment above.

I think what really wears on me are the sf readers who expect a) some degree of predictive value (which is hopeless to even attempt) and b) uptopian futures (which seem increasingly unlikely).
(no subject) - sovay - May. 20th, 2009 06:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - May. 20th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sovay - May. 20th, 2009 06:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - May. 20th, 2009 07:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sovay - May. 20th, 2009 09:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
txtriffidranch
May. 20th, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
So...what do you want for your birthday this time? I think I can hunt down some more NASA stuff...
greygirlbeast
May. 20th, 2009 06:01 pm (UTC)
So...what do you want for your birthday this time?

You've already outdone yourself with the NASA goodies. And, in fact, I was reworking some of my ideas for The Dinosaurs of Mars last night, and I'm hoping I can have time to get back to it in the summer of 2010. In fact, hopefully, it's all I will do that summer (except the digest).

Oh...but I would mind one of those TTR stickers.

Edited at 2009-05-20 06:01 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - txtriffidranch - May. 20th, 2009 09:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - May. 20th, 2009 09:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
suzie_n_sophie
May. 20th, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
My very favorite X-Files epi is "The Field Where You Died" or something like that. Have you got to that one yet?
greygirlbeast
May. 20th, 2009 06:24 pm (UTC)

"The Field Where I Died," and yep, that's a very good one. But it's not until Season Four, and we're only on One.
(no subject) - suzie_n_sophie - May. 20th, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
suzie_n_sophie
May. 20th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
Alabaster
And I'm about to score my copy of Alabaster.
greygirlbeast
May. 20th, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Alabaster

And I'm about to score my copy of Alabaster.

Thank you. I thought I'd sent you the hardback.
Re: Alabaster - suzie_n_sophie - May. 20th, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Alabaster - greygirlbeast - May. 20th, 2009 08:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
greygirlbeast
May. 20th, 2009 06:40 pm (UTC)

Yep, and I meant to post on it, and forgot. Thanks for reminding me!
matociquala
May. 20th, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC)
That's beautiful.
suzie_n_sophie
May. 20th, 2009 07:47 pm (UTC)
That cat looks like Charles.
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - May. 20th, 2009 08:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - May. 20th, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
scarletboi
May. 20th, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
Yep, And Meyers tithes a portion of her profits from the series to the church. A large sum of which was used to advertise against gay marriage in the whole prop8 debacle in California.

Growl.
greygirlbeast
May. 20th, 2009 08:22 pm (UTC)

Yep, And Meyers tithes a portion of her profits from the series to the church. A large sum of which was used to advertise against gay marriage in the whole prop8 debacle in California.

*groan*
(no subject) - humglum - May. 20th, 2009 09:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kiaduran - May. 20th, 2009 11:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - May. 21st, 2009 04:04 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
May. 20th, 2009 08:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Rest Assured...

...there's at least one branch of the soulless Waterstone's chain stocking Alabaster

That's good to know. Thank you.
gargirl
May. 21st, 2009 12:38 am (UTC)
Oh gods... she tithes her profits toward opposing gay marriage? So glad I didn't buy that awful book! My niece was so batshit over it I read it and it was so... blah, vanilla, boring. I cannot imagine wanting to read the next one and there are several of them. ???

greygirlbeast
May. 21st, 2009 04:03 am (UTC)
Oh gods... she tithes her profits toward opposing gay marriage? So glad I didn't buy that awful book! My niece was so batshit over it I read it and it was so... blah, vanilla, boring. I cannot imagine wanting to read the next one and there are several of them. ???

I'm just relieved to have such a valid reason to hate her. I always felt bad, hating her just because she was such a lousy writer. This is much better.
(no subject) - rsbryswrrl - May. 21st, 2009 03:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gargirl - May. 22nd, 2009 04:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
May. 21st, 2009 04:00 am (UTC)
And lol on the Stephanie Meyer comment. Yeah--I live around Mormons, and all their repressed desires for caffeine makes them write about (technically) pedophillic vampires who stalk teenage girls.

Heh, and add the whole necrophilia angle.

Also, see above comment.

Edited at 2009-05-21 04:01 am (UTC)
( 43 comments — Have your say! )

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